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Schizophrenia linked to marijuana use disorder is on the rise, study finds

July 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22.6%. 1 min read.

The proportion of schizophrenia cases linked with problematic use of marijuana has increased over the past 25 years, according to a new study from Denmark.

In 1995, 2% of schizophrenia diagnoses in the country were associated with cannabis use disorder.

"I think it is highly important to use both our study and other studies to highlight and emphasize that cannabis use is not harmless," said Carsten Hjorthøj, an associate professor at the Copenhagen Research Center for Mental Health and an author of the study published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry, via email.

"But I do feel fairly confident that we will see similar patterns in places where problematic use of cannabis has increased, or where the potency of cannabis has increased, since many studies suggest that high-potency cannabis is probably the driver of the association with schizophrenia. "

Cannabis use and cannabis use disorder have been increasing in Denmark, the study said -- a pattern that's also seen globally.

The study assessed people who had a clinical diagnosis for cannabis treatment disorder, not general use of the drug, noted Terrie Moffitt, a professor and chair in Social Behaviour & Development of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King's College London.

"Cannabis use disorder is not responsible for most schizophrenia cases, but it is responsible for a nonnegligible and increasing proportion.

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